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z4me

Defeating Pirates should not be a chore for honest buyers

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Highway patrol officer to another- "Do you realize how much revenue is being lost because we don't have radar to catch the speeders?"So the radar was installed and soon the officer again complained- "Do you realize how much revenue is being lost because now that we have radar, no one is speeding."------------Does anyone really have evidence that the pirate downloaders would actually purchase the software, if piracy was somehow made impossible? My guess is that the revenue increase would be hard to measure.Theft is theft but with an intangible like software, loss prevention doesn't necessarily translate into more income.AR

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AR,I'll share what I can. No there are no hard numbers, but I can tell you that with our key system there is a unique system event that tells us that a person who has borrowed our software and then decides to purchase happens. There is only one possible explanation for this event, and no, no harm is done to the system. Also, please notice that I did not use the word "pirate", though some might. However, the user does need to write to us to solve this situation. So based on those e-mails alone I do have a number and it is more than a "few" or a "couple".

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You can revoke a license to use software.
Yes a company could revoke a software license but I believe that they would only have the right to disable (as in make inoperative) said software. I just see a major legal issue if revoking a license entailed automatically and without warning removing the software from ones system especially since one could have legally purchased other software with the same license. Can you legally destroy something that someone legally obtained?Now what I could see happening would be an installer that detects if there is software on an individuals computer that has been obtained illegally (checked against registry entries, duplicate used serial keys, registered names not equaling user name, etc.) then all of the illegal software on that computer is removed. I think that would be legal because the user would have no rights or license to actually having/owning that software on their system. But as said in another post the checks and measures would have to be a 100% accurate with no false positives.Todd

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AR,I'll share what I can. No there are no hard numbers, but I can tell you that with our key system there is a unique system event that tells us that a person who has borrowed our software and then decides to purchase happens. There is only one possible explanation for this event, and no, no harm is done to the system. Also, please notice that I did not use the word "pirate", though some might. However, the user does need to write to us to solve this situation. So based on those e-mails alone I do have a number and it is more than a "few" or a "couple".
"system event" so what you leave garbage in the registries even though the person uninstalled the software? As someone said before maybe you should concentrate on making the paying users experience better.

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Hi,Nope, no garbage, just data that makes a re-install and a re-set up a lot easier for the PAYING customer which in turn leads to a BETTER EXPERIENCE.

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Hi,Nope, no garbage, just data that makes a re-install and a re-set up a lot easier for the PAYING customer which in turn leads to a BETTER EXPERIENCE.
You guys are about as locked down as you are going to get in FS... I really don't see the benefit here other than providing a few select customers a slap on the hand. Technically you could be distributing for free with a 1 or 2 week trial... wouldn't that be a better way to attract more paying customers?

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Technically you could be distributing for free with a 1 or 2 week trial... wouldn't that be a better way to attract more paying customers?
That IS what they do...no?

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Technically, we don't want to program a demo and then watch the hackers attempt to turn it into a full version.

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Technically, we don't want to program a demo and then watch the hackers attempt to turn it into a full version.
I understand that but you realize the guy that is going to hack it might be the guy first in line to buy it. You aren't really battling thousands of torrent users, you are battling one single bad apple. The sad part is all the developers are battling the same one or two guys over and over. You have to admit the live element of the Active Sky products, has contributed to it's success? Personally as a user, I wouldn't mind reactivating every time I used the product, heck StarCraft II asks me for my password each and everytime. If it's the only way to do it properly so be it, just don't think any offline schemes are going to cut it as protection.

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Yes a company could revoke a software license but I believe that they would only have the right to disable (as in make inoperative) said software. I just see a major legal issue if revoking a license entailed automatically and without warning removing the software from ones system especially since one could have legally purchased other software with the same license. Can you legally destroy something that someone legally obtained?Now what I could see happening would be an installer that detects if there is software on an individuals computer that has been obtained illegally (checked against registry entries, duplicate used serial keys, registered names not equaling user name, etc.) then all of the illegal software on that computer is removed. I think that would be legal because the user would have no rights or license to actually having/owning that software on their system. But as said in another post the checks and measures would have to be a 100% accurate with no false positives.Todd
The end user doesn't own the software. They purchase a license to use it. If the license is revoked... the software is no longer legally on their system.

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The end user doesn't own the software. They purchase a license to use it. If the license is revoked... the software is no longer legally on their system.
Ed I do read EULA's so I understand that. Basically all the end user is doing is renting the software because it can never be owned. OK so if I rent a DVD from a store and I do not return that DVD in due time can the store manager come to my home, force his way in, and take back their DVD? No I think not. And yes I signed a contract (EULA) stating what my obligations were. Now it is illegal for me to keep the DVD but other legal means would have to be taken first to get me to return it, pay for it, destroy it, arrest me, or whatever. Why do you think it is different with a software license? You are making it seem like (or maybe even suggesting it should be done that way) that a software developer has the right to do whatever they want to do on my computer simply because I accepted their EULA when I installed their software! You are talking but I'm having trouble hearing you because you haven't proved anything you are saying is legal. (I'm only talking about the statement you made about wiping software off of an individuals computer). One other question for you.When I accept the terms of a EULA am I accepting the terms for that installation of software or for each and every software title by the same company on my system? In other words if a software developer revokes the license of product A does that mean I can't use product B by the same company that I also have installed? I'm talking legal installations here.
I mean wipe all software from the system that was covered by the protection software. You violate the license, you lose all the software covered by it.
Wait a minute. Are you talking about the license for the copy protection that is used on a particular piece of software? In your above statement I would read that as if you "crack" the protection scheme you have violated the license which would be true. But that would only apply to the individual(s) that first purchased the software and then cracked it. Or would it? I guess the subsequent downloaders could be in violation of the protection EULA because they would be using a re-engineered version?Todd

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I notice no one liked my system wipe as a software protection method.
I actually I liked it, so just implemented it in FS2Crew's code.Now anytime someone runs a pirated copy of FS2Crew, Ed Wilson's computer automatically gets wiped :( Just kidding :(

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I actually I liked it, so just implemented it in FS2Crew's code.Now anytime someone runs a pirated copy of FS2Crew, Ed Wilson's computer automatically gets wiped :( Just kidding :(
I like it!! Can we put forward nominations?

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I actually I liked it, so just implemented it in FS2Crew's code.Now anytime someone runs a pirated copy of FS2Crew, Ed Wilson's computer automatically gets wiped :( Just kidding :(
LOL No such draconian methods required here. I have an 11-yr old child that if allowed on my system would destroy it even faster. :(

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Ed I do read EULA's so I understand that. Basically all the end user is doing is renting the software because it can never be owned. OK so if I rent a DVD from a store and I do not return that DVD in due time can the store manager come to my home, force his way in, and take back their DVD? No I think not. And yes I signed a contract (EULA) stating what my obligations were. Now it is illegal for me to keep the DVD but other legal means would have to be taken first to get me to return it, pay for it, destroy it, arrest me, or whatever. Why do you think it is different with a software license? You are making it seem like (or maybe even suggesting it should be done that way) that a software developer has the right to do whatever they want to do on my computer simply because I accepted their EULA when I installed their software! You are talking but I'm having trouble hearing you because you haven't proved anything you are saying is legal. (I'm only talking about the statement you made about wiping software off of an individuals computer). One other question for you.When I accept the terms of a EULA am I accepting the terms for that installation of software or for each and every software title by the same company on my system? In other words if a software developer revokes the license of product A does that mean I can't use product B by the same company that I also have installed? I'm talking legal installations here.
You're comparing apples to oranges with regards to a physical tangible object versus an electronic item (software). However, just so we're clear. We're discussing this mythical software system that jahman is demanding, where there's exactly one program responsible for all the FS addon copy protection and licensing. Thus the EULA would automatically be broadsweeping. The EULA would include any and all addons covered by this 'program' and as such, violation of the EULA (piracy, etc) would void the license of all the addons covered by this 'program'.
Wait a minute. Are you talking about the license for the copy protection that is used on a particular piece of software? In your above statement I would read that as if you "crack" the protection scheme you have violated the license which would be true. But that would only apply to the individual(s) that first purchased the software and then cracked it. Or would it? I guess the subsequent downloaders could be in violation of the protection EULA because they would be using a re-engineered version?Todd
Pirated software placed on a computer with this protection 'program' would violate the EULA if it software that is supposed to be protected by this 'program'. Doesn't matter if it's a "user" or a "hacker". If the protection 'program' is running on their system, then they obviously agreed to it's EULA regarding protection of any addons it's set up to install.

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Well most games come with the EULA on first run, not during installation. So I imagine when the Flight shop gets setup that's exactly what they'll do so you can install everything at once and just accept all the EULAs at initial launch. Again we have an example of steam where this works out just fine.

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You're comparing apples to oranges with regards to a physical tangible object versus an electronic item (software). However, just so we're clear. We're discussing this mythical software system that jahman is demanding, where there's exactly one program responsible for all the FS addon copy protection and licensing. Thus the EULA would automatically be broadsweeping. The EULA would include any and all addons covered by this 'program' and as such, violation of the EULA (piracy, etc) would void the license of all the addons covered by this 'program'.
Just because one item is electronic doesn't mean that it still isn't in my personal possession or in the case of software, resides on my personal computer. In that case the electronic item becomes part of a tangible object. I think this is the type of argument that has been going on for years because sometimes a EULA isn't as easy as black or white. But I do now understand where you're coming from in regards to jahman's demands and your "system wipe" scenario.Todd

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Well most games come with the EULA on first run, not during installation. So I imagine when the Flight shop gets setup that's exactly what they'll do so you can install everything at once and just accept all the EULAs at initial launch. Again we have an example of steam where this works out just fine.
A point was raised regarding Microsoft's update installers not requiring one to "accept" a separate EULA...That is demonstrably false, since just yesterday I had to "accept" a EULA when merely "updating" Microsoft Security Essentials!While it may or may not have been caused by installing the above, every "cookie" seems to have been banished, since I've now had to "Log In" to every single website I've visited today!

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You're comparing apples to oranges with regards to a physical tangible object versus an electronic item (software).
Not really, tangible objects can be licenced such as renting a DVD or a car. The same principles apply.
Pirated software placed on a computer with this protection 'program' would violate the EULA if it software that is supposed to be protected by this 'program'. Doesn't matter if it's a "user" or a "hacker". If the protection 'program' is running on their system, then they obviously agreed to it's EULA regarding protection of any addons it's set up to install.
Just because a term is included in the EULA doesn't mean its enforceable.

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n4gix: I was talking about games in particular. Even FSX requires the EULA to be accepted at first launch. Also Xbox/PS3 titles don't even require a EULA, once you break the shrink wrap you are already bound by the agreement just like any other entertainment product like a CD or DVD.

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... once you break the shrink wrap you are already bound by the agreement just like any other entertainment product like a CD or DVD.
If you can't read the EULA before the breaking the shrinkwrap you aren't bound and are entitled to a refund. You're only bound if you go ahead and install.

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Really what part of "all rights reserved" isn't understood from the outside cover?

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If you can't read the EULA before the breaking the shrinkwrap you aren't bound and are entitled to a refund. You're only bound if you go ahead and install.
Downloaded software has no shrinkwrap... thus your argument is moot.

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Yeah, this does actually sound like a nightmare to me. I’d be fit to be tied. I imagine yours is an extreme case...but it’s certainly not unrealistic. I happen to use a different set off add-ons and generally don’t have more than 6 installed at any time. So I’m an extreme case at the other end of the spectrum. You’ll get advice to reduce the number of add-ons you use...that’s not really a solution it's just a way to avoid the worst of the problem. But it’s a reasonable strategy.
Many thanks for your detailed read of my posts and your understanding of my situation. Much appreciated! The reason I have so many add-ons installed at this time:
  1. Add-ons accumulate over time as you intall new aircraft and scenery and then move on,
  2. Uninstalling scenery is inconvenient because re-installs take so long,
  3. De-Activating scenery (or activating scenery) for specific flights is also a problem because of the many entries affected and the overall time it takes FSX to re-scan scenery HDDs to re-build whatever it is re-building when you it detects a change in the scenery.cfg. Also often scenery add-ons instance more than a single entry in the scenery.cfg file and it is not always clear wich entries are related, so this also makes turning scenry add-ons on and off difficult.
  4. Aircraft add-ons are dangerous to uninstall because in some cases certain developers are lazy and implement an uninstall as simply reverting to the previous xml.cfg at the time of the install (thus trashing your FSX ecosystem) rather than removing its XML statements from the current xml.cfg. So for me uninstalling an aircraft Add-On is a big no-no.

For the problem, as you know - the difficulty is every developer uses different tools and methods for an install. Some may be licensing technology and others may build their own entirely or in part. Getting any sort of consistency among all these small outfits would be really hard. It practically has to come down from a higher authority like MS. Nevertheless getting some add-ons to install together would be better than nothing. Like 200 EULA from one publisher is just unreasonable.
Yes, I agree. And the 200 EULAs from that scenery developer are a case of customers in clear and resent danger of abuse. As I posted previously, EULAs could be designed to cover similar add-ons (and certainly re-intalls and updates) from the same developer. I have experience working with legal documents in the corporate world covering billions in contracts, and eliminating redundant EULA button clicks is exactly the kind of legal wrinkle that a lawyer will gladly solve for a few bucks.
Off-hand part of the solution would be for every installer to have a command-line method with arguments. This way the install command could be repeated once it was properly configured. If that was possible a tool could be made that recorded a reinstall command - once a ‘regular’ UI-install was made. In practice this might have some major roadblocks...so who knows.
Yes! That's exactly the kind of thinking, and the kind of solution, that I am advocating! As long as developpers save activation data (anywhere you want, but save that data!), and if the installer goes silent upon detecting a re-install (no EULA OK buttons or other stuff to click), then an Add-On Manager could go through all installers in a directory (or be driven via command lines from an addOnManager.cfg file (similar to scenery.cfg) and bingo, all add-ons would be re-installed. As I said before, not hard at all to do, iff (as in if and only if) developpers do give the customer install experience (as I have been trying to describe in my posts, and failing so far with few exceptions) some consideration.
...We're discussing this mythical software system that jahman is demanding, where there's exactly one program responsible for all the FS addon copy protection and licensing. Thus the EULA would automatically be broadsweeping. The EULA would include any and all addons covered by this 'program' and as such, violation of the EULA (piracy, etc) would void the license of all the addons covered by this 'program'....
Ed, I am demanding no mythical DRM and EULA system spanning all add-ons from all developpers, but before you continue to rabidly go after me I do insist you re-read my posts with attention: Nowhere have I advocated for a universal DRM and EULA solution spanning all add-ons. Nowhere! Paul got it right (previous paragraph), and if you also try, you will see you can too. It is possible for each add-on to store its activation data "somewhere" and it is possible to go for the installer to go silent on a re-install, so it is possible to make add-ons re-install-friendly and then of course it is possible to develop a KISS-type of Add-On-Manager.Cheers,- jahman.

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I think people are forgetting that the EULA is extending rights to users and isn't neccesary if you don't plan on doing so. Take a look at the Windows 7 SDK.. the entire EULA is about your rights and very little to do with Microsoft except to indemnify themselves from any risk. caused by the use of the SDK.

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